Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

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Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

The Conspirator (♦♦♦♦)

This incisive drama directed by Robert Redford (Ordinary People), recounts the events leading to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by Confederate sympathizers, and the ensuing investigation to capture and bring to justice “all” the participants involved in the conspiracy.

Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy, Atonement), a young lawyer and Union Army captain during the Civil War, is entrusted by a Maryland Senator (Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton) with the defense of Mary Surratt (Robin Wright Penn, Forrest Gump), a woman who had run the boarding house where most of the conspirators met and plotted Lincoln’s assassination. Mary’s fate seems to be predetermined considering the public’s condemnation of the events and the Secretary of War’s (Kevin Kline, Dave) desire to set an example out of her to heal the nation. The trial takes place before a military tribunal, which seems inclined to condemn her from the beginning despite inconsistent testimonies suggesting that she may be innocent.

Despite not being an unforgettable movie, I thought this one was very good. The cast delivers wonderful performances, though it’s hard to care for most of the characters. The outcome of the trial was ironic--regarding Mary Surratt-- compared to the revelations made at the end of the film, which made the words of the prosecutor ring true: “In times of war, justice is silent.”

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